Wine tastings can go one of two ways: impersonal and rushed or intimate and educational. Though wine tastings are a great way to sample unknown wines, I also like to learn about the wines I’m drinking: the grapes, the producer, the region. I may not be at a tasting to buy a bottle of wine, but I attend them for future reference, so that in times I am in a rush to buy a bottle, I’m not blindly searching for a wine.
The tasting largely depends on the size of the store; therefore, the tiny back-room wine shop of Cured on Pearl Street is one of my favorite to attend. Every Tuesday night from 4-7, Cured features four wines picked by their knowledgeable wine buyer, Wilson Cecil. Typically there are two whites and two reds, often from different regions and grapes, but showcasing similar tasting notes side by side. The wines may be chosen based on the season, or on new and exciting finds. The price points vary, but there is a 10% discount off the bottles being sampled if purchased that night.
It appears most people stop by Cured’s wine shop on their way to dinner, with intent to enjoy a bottle that evening. Therefore, the tastings often feature wines meant to be paired with food. The sales staff is quick to make a recommendation of a dish for the wine or a wine for a dish.
The best part of Cured’s tastings is the intimate setting. The customer gets descriptions of the wine they are trying, what it would pair well with, who the wine-maker is. Not only are they getting to taste the wine, they are learning something new about winemaking and the industry. The staff is always ready to make suggestions of something else to try in their inventory without being pushy or sales-driven. The best part is that customers are remembered, acknowledged by the staff, and feel welcome to ask questions, give feedback and interact with other tasters.
Cured’s wine shop is a hidden gem on Pearl Street. It is a great place to come when at a loss for a last minute party gift or when searching for something new to try. Go there to pick up dinner from the deli and market, and conveniently find a great wine or other alcoholic beverage (they carry a wide selection of local beers and liquors) to make for a relaxing evening after a hectic day.